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Awards celebrate outstanding researchers, real impact

Published:01 December 2022

Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Outstanding Researchers recipients (clockwise from top left) Associate Professor Ritesh Chugh, Dr Jacob Deem, Dr Karena Menzie-Ballantyne and Dr Imran Ali.

CQUniversity academics have been recognised in the 2022 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Outstanding Researchers, for diverse projects driving impact across Indigenous recognition, global education, social issues in tech, and supply chain management.

Recognised during CQUniversity’s Staff Awards on Friday 18 November 2022, the four recipients represented three schools across CQUniversity.

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Researcher (Early Career):

Dr Karena Menzie-Ballantyne, School of Education and the Arts, Centre for Research in Equity and Advancement of Teaching and Education,

Dr Imran Ali, School of Business and Law

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Researcher (Early Career) Commendation:

Dr Jacob Deem, School of Business and Law

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Researcher (Mid-Career) Commendation:

Associate Professor Ritesh Chugh, School of Engineering and Technology

CQUniversity Vice-President of Research Professor Grant Stanley said the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Outstanding Researchers highlight talented academics at CQUniversity who have made significant contributions in achieving exceptional research outcomes.

Dr Menzie-Ballantyne, based at CQU Bundaberg, said her award acknowledged her leadership of the Education for Global Competence and Sustainable Development research cluster, informing education policy and practice.

“We have assisted the Queensland Department of Education to develop a framework, and associated professional learning tools, that will assist Queensland school leaders and teachers to implement education for global competence in their schools and classrooms,” she explained.

Her work also supports six research higher degree students across Australia, and from Indonesia, Pakistan and Malaysia, and next year Dr Menzie-Ballantyne will travel to Paris to present at the Academic Network of Global Education and Learning (ANGEL) conference at UNESCO headquarters.

“I am proud that our work contributes to the achievement of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4 (quality education) and specifically targets for sustainable development knowledge and skills, and helping drive momentum internationally, particularly in the Asia Pacific region,” she said.

Associate Professor Ritesh Chugh said the award was a career milestone, recognising “all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to produce research outputs."

“I am proud of providing regular media commentary on socio-technological issues sharing research knowledge and expertise for broader forms of public scrutiny,” he said.

The CQU Melbourne-based academic has achieved hundreds of media citations in recent years, reaching millions of people nationally and internationally.

“Information systems continue to shape the future of organisational activities in every industry, be it education, engineering, banking, or health. Hence, the socio-technological exploration of information systems in diverse settings will stay on top of my research radar.”

Dr Jacob Deem said he was proud of the award, and of CQUniversity’s commitment to research that helps the community.

“For the past couple of years I have dedicated a lot of my research towards studying Australians’ attitudes towards enshrining a First Nations Voice in the Constitution, and that research was pivotal in convincing the previous federal government to reconsider its position not to enshrine the Voice,” the Brisbane-based researcher explained.

“Now it’s also pleasing to see the current Government committed to holding a referendum next year.

“I’m also fortunate to be part of a research team which was recently awarded an ARC Discovery Grant for 2023-2027, for a project examining how we can encourage healthy scepticism in voters (which is good for democracy) without that scepticism boiling over into distrust and disillusionment with the system.

“It’s an important project and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into it next year and beyond.”

Dr Imran Ali, also based at CQU Melbourne, is a lecturer in Operations and Innovation Management, with expertise in food supply chains and operations management.

Since 2020, he’s been a member of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations advisory group for the transformation of global food systems.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp congratulated all the recipients and the work of CQUniversity’s busy Research Division.

Last month CQUniversity was named a top-500 university globally for reputation, in the Times High Education Reputation Rankings, jumping 150 places to 458th in the world based on excellence in research and teaching.